One Day At a Time

I know not what the future holds, but I know who holds the future. -Homer

I am guilty. 

Absolutely guilty.

Completely guilty of wanting to live more than one day at a time.

Anyone else?

I find my brain LOVES to try and tackle days, weeks, months, YEARS even at a time, trying feverishly to figure out and control what will happen in my own strength and by my own means.

This is, absolutely and utterly, insane behavior.

Insane because, what I am currently (and FINALLY) realizing is that I can quite literally only live one day at a  time. I know, a novel idea here! But bear with me as I unpack this, because I believe we are ALL guilty of this insane behavior in one way or another.

For me, I like to know what to expect out of life. I want to set up systems in my day-to-day that provide evidence for what to expect in my week-to-week, which in turn leaves no doubt of how the rest of my days will play out. A pattern of predictability is so attractive to my brain, and yet, as I type this, I could argue that nothing about predictability sounds fun or rewarding.  In fact, what is really exciting about life and this whole human experience is that we do not, in fact, get to pick or plan how our days will play out, and we are called to live instead by faith.

Ah, the most annoying of the f-words: FAITH.

What exactly is God asking of me when His word says to live by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7)? My eyes work! What I see makes sense to me! And yet, here He is telling me to live NOT by what I see (not by what makes sense to my humanness) but instead, to live by what I do not see, and trust that He is taking care of the all the details that are currently unclear to my human eyes.

That sounds so contrary to what my body is physically designed for. And as a matter of fact, it is.

God is absolutely asking His children (myself included) to do the things that are not only contrary to our body’s design but also the culture of the world in which we live. The world will regularly tell you to take things at “face value” and believe what you see. But God, the Author and Creator of the Universe, tells us to trust in Him, and everything else will fall into place not only for our good but also to glorify him (Matthew 6:33; Romans 8:28; 1 Corinthians 10:31).

So I waste a lot of time trying to figure out or predict my life. I also expend unnecessary energy, and paint a picture of my future that is not only false, but also ugly. I cannot, in all of my fallibility, display an image of my life that even comes close to the masterpiece God has designed for me. As a matter of fact, I am GLAD God doesn’t allow my thoughts to turn into realities because that life, the one I am afraid of having, wouldn’t glorify Him in any way. In other words, I am glad His ways aren’t my ways, and His thoughts aren’t my thoughts (Isaiah 55:8).

When I meet Him (and I KNOW that day will come) I want nothing more than to rejoice in His goodness, His Grace, His mercy, and His love. And I will. That is one event I can absolutely predict. But right now, it is within my full capability to do all of that TODAY, not having to wait for some future date. I can (and should) rejoice in His goodness TODAY! Because it’s real, and it’s true, and nothing will ever change that. Not my overthinking, not my worry, not my fear: NOTHING.

I can only live one day at a time.

I can bank on the fact that I will meet God one day in Heaven.

Until then…I can enjoy His good gifts and promises one day at a time.

And that is a pattern worth following.

Do You Like The Company You Keep?

I firmly believe we are called to have fellowship and relationship with other humans. We were not created to live life or do life alone. However, it’s very important to understand the key difference between needing people, and NEEDING people. I know, it sounds like I just repeated the same words, but I promise the emphasis matters!

Needing people, in a healthy and godly way, is biblicaly mandated, and orchestrated beautifully by Christ himself.

John 15:12-15 ‚ÄúThis is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”

Jesus, the only righteous (and might I add WHOLE) person to ever walk this planet understood the need for friends and fellowship. He himself had friends, close personal companions with whom he shared his life. It is no mistake that Christ identified with the very human need for companionship: it is God’s design for our lives.
Often, because we have been emotionally hurt by people and scars don’t easily fade, we can find ourselves denying the need for human interaction. This can look one of two ways: isolation or obsession. It is easy to isolate from society when even one person has hurt you: trust me, I know! I recall several different seasons in my life where I threw myself into books or television, shunning my phone, shunning my friends, and turning my back on the world, only to find I was even more hurt in the process. I have also encountered seasons of obsession: times where I have been longing for and obsessed with friendship or relationship, only to be left wanting and feeling empty for the lack that I felt.
And that obsession, that emptiness, THAT is the difference between needing and NEEDING. When we look to other people to compliment and add to our lives, we recognize a need to not experience life alone. When we look to other people to complete and validate our lives, that is when we are operating in unhealthy NEED, and in danger of causing more pain for ourselves than good.
Something to think about: when you’re sitting alone on your couch, do you feel calm or anxious? When it’s Friday night and you don’t have plans with anyone, do you feel at rest or restless? In other words, when you have moments of quiet, when you’re alone with yourself, do you like the company you keep, or do you feel you NEED someone else to make your moments worthwhile? Because ultimately, your relationship with yourself is the one you’ll be walking in the longest, and if you’re not content with that company, who can anyone else fill that void?
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Until next time, I send my love!

Nothing can separate

Just got home from passing water to the homeless in downtown Atlanta. I have to admit, it’s always a humbling experience when serving the Lord’s people who are less fortunate, but for some reason, my eyes were REALLY opened this evening when I was walking around downtown Atlanta and realizing that NOTHING separates-the person with water-and them-the people without.

I have done NOTHING to deserve the roof over my head; my abilities are few, my praise is always lacking, and yet God continues to provide for me daily. I fret about he fact that I don’t have a “real” job right now but in truth; isn’t my God big enough to provide? One week ago I received a financial miracle that blows my mind, and yet each day I continually wake up soaked in a sweat of fear; fear that another day will go by and I won’t have the job I was hoping for.

I think about these men and woman who are lining the streets of Atlanta. They were like me; looking for a job, living in a house or apartment; average. There is nothing that separates us; I could be them. And thinking about that makes me feel a variable of emotions: fear, praise, confusion, dedication, admiration.

In the end, my feelings mean nothing if I am not continually going to God. For some reason, only known to Him, He loves us unconditionally. He loves me unconditionally. Nothing can separate me from that love.

I don’t even know if this entry is making sense to anyone other than me; but I feel like God was speaking to me tonight. Maybe I need to wrap my mind around these thoughts before I type them up, but I made a decision to make myself more transparent (as I typically remain very private). So here are my thoughts; raw, unplugged, if you will. It’s all I’ve got for now. Maybe more later…maybe not.

HAH, thanks for reading. Be blessed!